This view is consistently held by the Communist Party of Vietnam, according to Major General Nguyen Ba Duong, former director of the Institute for Military Science and Technology under the Ministry of National Defence.
Maj. Gen. Duong believes that building and consolidating national defence and security is a proactive, firm, and peaceful way in which to defend the nation as a means of deterring aggressive state actors whilst staying ready to fight against any potential threats. Therefore, utilising the strength of the entire nation, coupled with decisive political will, can prove crucial in protecting the country.
Ensuring political, economic, and cultural security
Building on the past achievements, the draft document which will be submitted to the upcoming 13th National Party Congress continues to highlight ways to build and strengthen national defence and security, emphasising the need to ensure political security, social order, safety, and economic security, along with cultural security. It therefore places great importance on political security and the building of a solid “posture of the people” to strengthen the entire nation whist boosting the “self-defence” of each citizen, organisation, and unit.
“The aforementioned point of view affirms our Party’s new thinking on building and consolidating national defence and security in the new context, reflecting more clearly the comprehensiveness, consistency, efficiency and depth of theoretical perceptions of our Party,” says Maj. Gen. Duong.
Maj. Gen. Duong notes that building and consolidating national security is closely linked to developing local people’s security posture and can be viewed as a new feature in the development of military thinking. Indeed, building a solid socio-political foundation to promote the strength of the entire nation with regard to national defence and security, especially in key strategic defence areas, is of profound theoretical and practical significance.
Delving into an in-depth analysis of regional and global changes in geopolitics, the draft Party document affirms that building people-centred defence has historically proved to be a decisive factor behind the success of the Vietnamese revolution. This is therefore an important and regular task of the Party and the wider political system, with goals aimed at utilising local strength to effectively prevent and respond to all circumstances in order to ensure a peaceful, free, prosperous, and happy life for citizens.
Meeting requirements in security, defence, and foreign affairs
The draft document explains that developing a relationship between the military, national defence, security, and foreign affairs should be addressed to ensure it is linked with national socio-economic development strategies, thereby boosting development along with the practical cause of national construction and defence. This can be seen as a creative point in the Party’s thinking, according to Maj. Gen. Duong.
“By summarising 35 years of implementing the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, 30 years of implementing the 1991 platform, and five years of implementing resolutions of the 12th Party Congress, the draft document to the upcoming 13th Party Congress looks at the Party’s comprehensive knowledge of the relationship between the military, national defence, security, and foreign affairs,” states Maj. Gen. Duong.
“The document not only develops but also supplements and completes a mechanism for co-ordinating military, national defence, security activities, and foreign affairs in national socio-economic development plans, alongside providing an analysis, forecast, and recommendations for effective implementation.”
Moving forward, Maj. Gen. Duong believes that the region and the world will continue to experience plenty of complicated and unpredictable developments in the coming time. Peace, co-operation, and development will be major trends, although these ties will face plenty of obstacles. Indeed, the world is anticipated to fall into a serious crisis caused by a severe economic recession, in addition to the drawn out impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Furthermore, the ongoing disputes over sovereignty in the South China Sea, known locally as the East Sea, the fierce resistance of hostile forces, as well as political opportunism following the 13th Party Congress, are set to cause more complicated issues that cannot be underestimated. According to Maj. Gen. Duong, these factors push forward the cause of building and reinforcing national defence and security in the new context.
“In the coming years, we need to continue to properly implement Vietnam’s defence policy of not joining any military alliances, not aligning with a particular state against another, and not allowing a foreign country to set up a military base on its soil to threaten the sovereignty of others, as well as not using force or threatening the use of force in international relations,” recommends Maj. Gen. Duong.
In line with this, he underlines the need to strengthen the Party’s “absolute and direct” leadership in the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security Force, considering this to be a matter of principle, whilst also serving to adapt to geopolitical developments.
The senior military officer believes that the Party should set orientations and roadmaps in order to implement national socio-economic development strategies, whilst also strengthening national defence, security, and foreign affairs. Indeed, defence and foreign affairs are closely linked to the wider issue of national security.
Moreover, the Party should focus on adapting defence and security efforts to be in line with the latest global developments. This can be done by closely combining the building and consolidation of national defence efforts with economic, cultural, and social development, , alongside integrating and bringing into full play existing resources in implementing plans to build and develop economic-defense zones in the country, especially in land border areas and on islands.
Finally, Maj. Gen. Duong notes that it is a necessity to strengthen the Party’s leadership and the State’s management in order to successfully implement tasks relating to national defence, security, and foreign affairs.